After several months of being blocked off, the newly refurbished parking area along Shore Boulevard in Gulfport will be re-opened Sunday November 6 with an official ribbon-cutting ceremony.
The project replaced the previously potholed surface with red pavers and cement carefully delineated with white paint to create individual parking spaces. A new sidewalk was installed along Shore Boulevard with a seating wall and landscaping, and a new path was built between the lot and the beach. Lighting and crosswalks were also upgraded.
“It’s definitely a major improvement to that area,” Community Development Director Fred Metcalf said of the $700,000 project on Tuesday, November 1. “It will serve the city well for years to come.”
In addition to improving the area for cars, the project aimed to facilitate pedestrian and bicycle access around the park and Shore Boulevard, he said.
Although the total surface available for parking will be the same, there will likely be more parking space since they are all now clearly defined, Metcalf said. Also, sections that were previously off-limits due to water-filled potholes will always be available.
Mary McLoughlin, a resident of St. Petersburg who regularly attends the music events in the beach pavilion, was pleased with the results of the construction.
“Everything looks gorgeous,” she said Tuesday, noting in particular the new flowers.
The project began July 5 and appears to have been completed on schedule and within budget, Metcalf said. The contractor was Eveland Bros. Inc. of Clearwater.
The ribbon-cutting will take place at 11:30 a.m. after the Veterans Day parade.